Whether you have a common cold, virus or infection, doctors' orders always include an essential tip: "Stay hydrated" or "Drink lots of fluids!" There's a reason why. Drinking water helps to flush out toxins and keep your body working optimally. On the opposite end, dehydration can worsen symptoms and extend the time you're sick.
Before you stock up on fluids, there's one thing you need to know: All beverages are not equal when it comes to keeping you hydrated. So, with the help of the internet, we put together a list of tips for staying hydrated when you're sick. Check it out below!
1. Drink purified water.
This is the most basic tip, by far. But, it's important to keep it simple. Eight 8-oz. glasses is the recommended amount of water you should drink daily, whether you're healthy or sick.
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2. Eat ice.
Essentially, this is the same tip as #1. But, if you want to switch it up or you're hot, chewing on frozen purified water is another way to hydrate.
3. Avoid sugar.
Sports drinks, sodas, sweet teas, fruit juices--while you may be tempted to reach for your favorite sugary beverage, don't. Fluids high in fructose don't have electrolytes or nutrients to help your immune system and the sugar can increase inflammation the body.
4. Add fruits and/or vitamin supplements to your water.
If you're bored with purified H2O and craving a sweet drink, try adding fruits, vegetables or flavored vitamin supplements. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes and oranges, are packed with Vitamin C, which is important when you're not feeling well. Berries, like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, have high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, which is also helpful. Plus, fruits and vegetables have natural sugars that can transform your water into a delicious beverage.
You can also purchase vitamin supplements like Emergen-C or Airborne to your water to make it taste flavorful and receive the vitamins your body needs.
5. Drink decaf tea.
If you're looking for a hot beverage, caffeine-free teas are your best bet. Teas like mint, chamomile, ginger and turmeric, all of which have great benefits when you're under the weather. Adding lemon and/or honey can also amp up the taste and provide additional health benefits.
6. Make soup.
Soups are a great way to add more fluids and nutrients to your diet. Many soups, such as chicken noodle soup, are high in vitamins and nutrients. Plus, a warm soup (or hot tea) can ease sore throats or congestion, if you're experiencing these symptoms.
Note: Do not consume canned soups. Many canned soups are high in sodium, which can increase inflammation and blood pressure. Instead, opt for low-sodium soups or make your own.
7. Avoid alcohol.
That's right, put the hot toddy down. Alcohol can impair your body from fighting sickness.
We hope this helps. Feel better soon!